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How to identify your time wasters and get rid of them

estimated reading time: 2 min

Nekka works as an artist and illustrator. She wanted to understand how much time she spent on creating art vs the additional activities to advertise and sell it. To find the right balance, she started tracking with Timeular.

Less social media, more creative artwork

Which activities should I track? That’s a question a lot of people ask themselves. Nekka solved it that way: she thought about the tasks she wanted to manage the time she spends on them.

“I need to keep a balance in my freelance career to ensure I have enough time to focus on all my different tasks.”

She tracks Art, Commissions, Website, Administration, Shop, Patreon, Promotion & Networking, Exhibitions. 

To begin with, she looked at how much time she spent on social media. 

With the help of the analytics, she identified where her time was going to waste and decided where it could be better spent and how to use it more productively. 

“The main issue was spending too much time running social media without having content to post. Seeing the time spent showed me how creating more art would naturally allow more content to be posted. Timeular helps me keep this balance.”

She now has 3 additional hours a week of creative work and spends less time coming up with ideas for her social accounts. 

Nekka’s tips: prioritize, finding the right tasks and Toggl integration

  1. You waste a lot more time than you realize on lower priority tasks. Creating a list of priorities helps you get to the things you need most.
  2. One of my challenges was organizing my tasks among the 8 sides. I realized it was more simple to track tasks by a generic category rather than getting confused by too many. I kept things simple and it went much easier.
  3. I use Todoist to log my tasks and see what I’ve accomplished, I also use Toggl in combination with Timeular to help tag my tasks into subcategories and create pdf exports for clients.

Bio
Nekka is an artist/illustrator and works as a freelancer for Nekka’s Art. You can find out more about what she is doing here. She has been using Timeular for the last 2 years. 

How to use Timeular as a lawyer

estimated reading time: 2 min

Michael works as an attorney at law in his own law firm. Being a lawyer also comes with billing your clients and that’s why he wanted to start tracking his time. “I wanted to see how much of my time are actual billable hours and how many hours a day I am spending doing private activities like checking my personal emails.”

Planning is not for every day …

At 6:30 am in the morning Michael starts his day by turning on his coffee-machine in the office #firstthingsfirst. After that, he immediately starts tracking the various activities.

He tracks projects (e.g. LegalTech), cases and also private activities (mainly for the breaks) with his Timeular Tracker. 

When he is not in court he mainly has meetings with clients or works on documents of the different cases or projects. 

Once a week he also tries to blog something on the website of his law firm. 

“Planning is not a good thing to do every day since as a criminal lawyer cases and clients are likely to ‘pop up’ unforeseen. I try to leave the office at around 6:00 pm but most days I stay longer due to my workload.”

… billing is 

Keeping track of his time helps Michael to assign certain activities and their duration better to individual cases. Therefore the billing for his clients is easier and much more transparent, which is very important for him. 

“It is fun to track time via a haptic device … there definitely is an aspect of gamification involved, that I find very useful to get things done.”

Michael’s tip: buy a Timeular Tracker

😉 

And for the German speakers, Michael also wrote about Timeular on his blog: https://www.rechtsanwalt-lanzinger.at/timeular-in-der-kanzlei/ 


BIO
Michael Lanzinger is an attorney at law in Austria and has his own law firm, called Kanzlei Michael Lanzinger. It is a disruptive law firm that is all about online law, cybercrime, criminal law and legal tech. He was one of the first 100 backers but started tracking his time with Timeular in his law firm in April 2019. 

How to easily plan your 2020

estimated reading time: 2 min

Heidi is a passionate wedding dress designer and has her own business. As some dresses take up more time than others, it is important for her to see how long she actually needs for each piece “so I can check if my pricing is accurate and so that I know that I’m reserving enough time for them”. 

She needs to plan her days a year in advance to know how many dresses she is able to produce. So knowing exactly where her time goes is very crucial. 

From the to-do list to the billing program

At the beginning of the day, she is going through all her emails and other small jobs. Then she starts working on dresses. She usually works with 1-3 dresses per day. 

“Most days I have clients coming in for fittings, the amount varies.” 

With Timeular she tracks how much time she spends in customer service, making the dresses, answering emails and all the other paperwork that comes with her business. 

Heidi also uses the notes feature to mark down which client’s dress she is working with. 

At the end of the day she checks her emails again and counts down how many hours she works with each client. 

The next wedding season is saved 

“Timeular has already helped me a lot with those things I needed help with. It’s easier for me to book the next wedding season ahead because now I know better how much time I need to reserve for specific dresses.”

“I also noticed how much time I spent on useless things. I can better concentrate on my  tasks now instead of scrolling my phone every 5 minutes.“


BIO

Heidi Tuisku is a wedding dress designer and has her own business called Heidi Tuisku. She has been using Timeular since the start of 2019. 

Meet the new Timeular Tracker: Same outside but different inside

As you all know, we take your feedback very seriously and after having shipped tens of thousands of Trackers to 100+ countries worldwide we’ve heard your most important needs loud and clear: faster, stronger and rechargeable.

Starting today we are shipping the new version of the Tracker to everyone. We focused on keeping the much-loved appreciated design and added a new inner core to provide you the following three most requested features enhancements.

1. Stronger and more reliable 💪

Together with our engineers, we’ve completely redesigned the internal antenna and improved the connectivity stack to provide you a 4x stronger and more reliable connection.

If you were experiencing unexpected disconnects in certain situations, they won’t happen anymore.

2. Lightning fast 🚀

We have partially rewritten parts of the Tracker firmware so it will react and connect 12x faster than before to provide you immediate feedback.

This is now the Lamborghini amongst Trackers. You hit the black button and it’s connected right away. You flip the Tracker and it tracks before your hands are back on your keyboard. You put it in the base and it stops tracking faster than you could can close your notebook.

3. Rechargeable ☀️

Time is the most limited and valuable resource and so is our planet. That’s why we’re gradually investing into in ways to create creating less waste.

While A few months ago we have reduced the waste of our packaging by 50% already, we have and with today’s release, we’ve now replaced the coin cell battery with a rechargeable battery to make the Tracker more sustainable and at the same time, as well as more affordable.

The cool thing is that you’ll will only have to recharge the Tracker 3-4 times a year using the included USB-C cable that you can attach to any charger or electronic device like your notebook. It’d be nice if all devices would only have to be recharged so rarely, right? 🙂

Timeular Tracker with USBC

Don’t just take our word for it.

Over the past couple of weeks a number of people have been receiving the new Tracker already, and here’s what they’ve been saying about it:

„One of the biggest differences between the first and the latest version of the Tracker is the fast connection set up. But this is not the only thing that’s better: the Tracker now also has a very fast reaction time and it is rechargeable!“
Florian V. Timeular Customer
Florian V.
„Timeular doesn’t only track my time - it also helped me stop multitasking. Seeing the up-facing side helps me keep the focus on the task that I should be working on right now.“
Tina Sa. Timeular Customer
Tina S.
„Pre-Timeular I never knew where my time was going, I’d often end up overcommitted and overwhelmed. Post-Timeular, I can see at a glance how my day has been spent and can call up a report to give my supervisor estimates on the fly.“
Timeular Customer Patricia S.
Patricia S.

If you want to get your hands on the new Tracker as well just head over to our online store and order one today.

Thank you for your time and your constant feedback,

Manuel and Team Timeular

Using David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) method in combination with Timeular

estimated reading time: 3 min 

“I learned my limits. I learned how much more I can give and do. I learned which promises I can give and keep. I learned the difference between the truth and wishful thinking.”

Joey works as a customer service agent. He’s constantly looking for ways to improve himself. He wanted to see how much time he is spending on his activities and which tools are working for him. “Furthermore, I want to see how I can improve not only myself but the workflow of the team.”

GTD-system meets Timeular

Joey’s activities are fluid and forever changing, but he was able to combine them to the eight most important aspects: Calls, Time on order entry, Meetings, Projects, Reports and Salesforce. He uses #tags and @mentions for his most valuable clients to ensure their promises to them are kept.

For planning his day, he uses the GTD-System of David Allen. He writes everything down in an Excel sheet.

He plans his day while commuting, then spends about 30 minutes getting an overview (this is what he tracks) and then works on orders, spending some time with customer requests and questions.

At the end of his day, he blocks time for current projects. As if not enough, he re-checks urgent orders and deliveries and delegates important issues to his team.

He labels his activities with the E/N/D idea. E/N/D stands for Energizing / Neutral / Draining. After finishing a task or when writing it down, you decide whether it was an E, N, or D. This helps you make sure that you don’t have a day full of things that are draining your energy.  This is key to stopping burnout in its tracks!

At the end of the week, he compares the tracked data to his initial plan and evaluates what he can do better next time.

Keeping everything nice and organized

For later reviews, Joey keeps nearly everything in files and folders. All his duties and activities are colour-coded. Whether something is saved in digital or paper form, it’s always clearly visible and therefore making his job 100% transparent. With this method, he never loses an order, never misses making a call, never forgets a tiny detail about his customers/coworkers, and it never ever gets hectic.

“More work, in less time, with no mistakes (and enough time to learn from past mistakes), structured projects and plans and the good feeling of going home in the evening, knowing, I did the best I can and am ready to do it again tomorrow. Timeular is a very essential tool, so much so I now do the same with my private life.”

Guesstimating vs estimating and the meaning of time

Joey is now able to squeeze an 11 hour workday into a more relaxed 9 hours day.

“I re-learned the value of time and how to spend it. The differences between someone else’s urgent and my urgent. The difference between giving a ‘guesstimate’ or a fair and accurate time. Also, I learned that you get more done when knowing what it is you’re doing. There is a certain elegant order to everything and Timeular helped my find it for me.”

Time is precious, once gone, it will never come back and Timeular let’s him make the most out of the present and the future. Joey now gets more done than ever before whilst never being stressed or exhausted

Joey’s tip on how to define your activities

Try to track one or two weeks worth of work with pen and paper (not the time spent on it, just the “it” itself), then sit down with a cup of coffee and mindmap your way to your top-8 and see if they make sense. I think 8 “big tasks” is just the perfect number of tasks to track and plan and live by.

“To track is to improve, so everything gets better the more you do it.”

BIO

Joey works as a customer service agent. The company he is working for is improving customer experience, identifying and eliminating repeating problems and creating do–able workflows. He has been using Timeular for the past 1.5 years.

How to generate more income and become better at negotiating on money

estimated reading time: 2 min 

How to generate more income and become better at negotiating on money

As a freelancer, Claire spends a lot of time quoting for jobs. Traditionally, the amount she suggested was based largely on her sense of how long these things typically took “but I realised that sense was far from being based in any sort of science or data. I wanted to get a really clear picture of how long I was spending on which tasks.”

Making lists to get better sleep

Claire is a very dedicated list maker. She doesn’t end each day until she has made a note of everything she needs to do in the following one and ends each week by developing a plan for each day of the next one.

“I wouldn’t sleep very well otherwise, because being a writer means having a permanent collection of impending deadlines.”

Having them all clearly noted down reduces the stress of that reality for her. She tries to have a rough idea of the order in which she’ll tackle her tasks during the day. Furthermore she tries to take into account to switch between tasks which require a lot of brainpower and those which require less.

“Urgent and unexpected stuff happens a lot, so I do have to flex things sometimes. But the broad plan stays in place.”

She tracks every single work-related activity to know precisely which activities are occupying her day and how much time they take. She uses this data also to bill her clients.

Timeular analytics helped her increase her turnover

“As a writer, I’m not great with numbers,” Claire laughs. Having the proof in her Timeular analytics helps her become more confident in quoting higher fees for projects – safe in the knowledge it’s based on reality.

Negotiating on money made easy

“That my turnover has increased is probably not a coincidence,” she says. “If you’re anything like me, negotiating on money is not the best or easiest part of being a freelancer. In fact, it can be really nerve-wracking. Knowing that what you saying is backed up by data of how long things normally take with this sort of job or this sort of client makes it so much easier.”

BIO

Claire works as a freelance writer, editor and editorial project manager. Her business is called “Read the Writer” where she produces engaging words on time and with apostrophes in all the right places. She has been using Timeular since the Kickstarter launch in 2016.

How to get 4 hours of focused work a day

estimated reading time: 2 min 

Tobi works for two companies at the same time. Taking care of both of them comes with a lot of different responsibilities and tasks. He always got distracted by subtasks and it was hard for him to stay focused. Furthermore, he was interested in how much time he is spending on each project, that’s why he wanted to try out Timeular.

Mornings with yoga, meditation … and Timeular

He starts his day around 6:00 am with a session of 8 min Tabata, 8 min of Yoga and a short meditation. “Throughout that procedure, my mind is completely focused.” After that he quickly prepares a healthy shake for breakfast and starts writing down his daily plan.

Tobi’s day is structured in 2 big tasks, one he has to do and one he wants to do. “This keeps me motivated working in my  ‘zone’.”

“Discipline is most important. In order to push this I work with 20min ‘tomatoe timers’ and binaural frequencies (and classical music).”

As activities, he tracks the tasks within his companies and the ones he does for external partners. “A good structure of how you spend your time is the most important thing for self-employed people. Basically, I pick the activities according to the people I work with.”

Now: 4 focused hours a day

Tobi now has 4 hours per day to remain in the “zone” which was not possible for him before. He also really likes the physical Tracker. “I forget to start or stop the timer less ;)”

Tobi’s tip: find your own personal morning routine

“Try to find your (personal!) perfect morning routine (including nutrition and sport), learn to find your way how to structure yourself, there are many options and techniques, handwritten or digitally.”

Tobi would start by looking for what others are doing to get some inspiration. “There are big speakers and mentors like Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins and Hal Elrod – these are more for bookworms. Alternatively, you can speak with successful people in your environment, who have similar mindsets.”

“It’s like a puzzle. First, you need to find the right pieces, then you need to try and see what happens and if they fit.”

Therefore it is important to have the discipline or your own system to keep you accountable and to make it a habit/routine.

BIO

Tobi Deckert is the CEO and product developer of ShredRack and tronature. He helps others to achieve their ultimate adventure during travel and sports throughout the right products.

How To Become Ultra Productive Without Working Insane Hours

You feel that you’re not giving your best. You know you could perform better. And you fear that the lack of performance could cost you your job or business.

So what comes in the way? Maybe it’s the lack of energy, motivation, focus or confidence. But…

What if I told you that even the top-performers face the same issues? And they still manage to stay at the top by performing at their peak levels.

What if I told you that you have the potential to perform way better? As a result, you could make much more money by getting a promotion or growing your business.

What if I told you that you don’t have to work more hours to get more done? So you can finally ditch addiction to work and enjoy time off because you know you’re more productive than ever before.

The secret behind work performance is not putting in more hours. It’s about raising your performance and work capacity so you can get more done in less time while doing better quality of work.

I’m sure you want that, don’t you?

The good news: Anyone can become a high-performer because it has nothing to do with intelligence or talent.

Here’s how you can improve your work performance and increase your productivity:

1. Never Forget The Big Picture

First, you must define the goal and purpose behind productivity. You can make the most productive person on Earth unproductive if you ask them to be productive for the reasons that don’t excite them.

So it’s not that you’re lazy or unmotivated, you just have to align your values, goals, and purpose with the reasons you want to be productive.

To do so, define your specific important goal, dig the reason you want to achieve that goal, identify the obstacles you’re likely to face and get clear about the action steps you need to take. Once you’re out of the planning mode, it’s time to commit and begin.

That’s the homework you must do before becoming productive.

2. Train Like An Athlete

That hard part is to train your skills like an athlete. It could mean the deliberate practice of your key skills or the pursuit of lifelong learning.

This doesn’t mean you get into the dirty comparison game, it means you aim for mastery because of the purpose you defined in the previous step. So keep raising your standards and keep showing up to your practice or learning sessions.

3. Manage Your Energy First!

There’s a lot you can do to manage your energy. Here are the key points to get started:

  • Take care of the fundamentals i.e. Eat, move, sleep, breathe and recover right.
  • Ride your energy waves i.e. Make use of the energy rhythms and times when you’re most productive and take breaks to recharge yourself.
  • Maintain flow state by removing distractions, single-tasking and balancing your skills and the challenge.
  • Listen to your body and recover on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis (or whichever schedule is best for you) before depleting all your energy.

 

4. Now Manage Your Time & Tasks

The next step is to eliminate everything that’s a waste of your time because if you want to add something meaningful to your life, you must remove what’s clogging up your time.

Don’t continue doing something simply because you’ve always done it. According to Pareto’s principle, identify the 20% of the tasks that get you 80% of the results and prioritize them above everything else. To help you do that, you can:

  • Prioritize and use time-blocks to schedule the most important things in your life There’s a saying that goes “if it’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist”.
  • Automatically schedule reoccurring tasks to show up consistently for getting important things done.
  • Use checklists to save time and energy on reoccurring tasks.
  • Create imaginary deadlines and use timers to have a sense of urgency while working to cure procrastination (study).
  • Batch similar tasks together to get things done faster.

You can delete, automate or delegate the rest of the 80% of the non-critical tasks (aka time-suckers). Remember: if you don’t respect your time and energy, you won’t have it in abundance.

5. Get Tracking To Measure Productivity

Then, you must measure your actions before you measure the outcome. Actions define how much work you’re putting in, while the outcome results from your actions.

If you notice that you’re getting more done, but you still don’t see progress in the outcome, you must reflect or get feedback so you can get the right things done. That way, the outcome will match your increased productivity.

It’s up to you how you measure your actions. You can use an app, software, excel sheet or pen and paper. Pick a method and get tracking so you can focus on what matters and celebrate your small wins!

6. Tackle The Setbacks Like A Boss

But you don’t lose the battle unless you give up. You can work on developing a growth mindset, grit, stress tolerance, etc.

The obstacles exist to make you stronger, so embrace them. Instead of depending on your feelings, change your identity to show up consistently and become unstoppable.

7. Use The Productivity System That Makes Sense To You

Whether you follow a system or create your own, the important thing is to have a productivity system so you can spend less time organizing and more time doing.

Conclusion

Our “work more” mentality is so hard-wired that sometimes, we forget the point of productivity — to perform at your peak so you can not only produce more but enjoy your time off.

Imagine all the things you could do with the free time on your hands when you perform better in less time. You could spend time with your friends and family, work on your hobbies, start a side project, read books, pay attention to your health and wellbeing, learn a new skill, play, or maybe just relax for a while. The time is yours to claim.

This post was written by Prakhar Verma and first appeared on DesignEpicLife.com.

Prakhar Verma

Prakhar is the creator of Design Epic Life where he helps ambitious people design their epic lives for high-performance and success. He writes about life, self-improvement, happiness, productivity and other topics related to designing a better life. Get his free cheatsheet to design your daily success checklist for free when you sign up at DesignEpicLife.com.

How to never overbook your schedule again

estimated reading time: 2 min 

David White works as a managing director at Menlo Coaching. He and his colleagues want to make sure they have enough time for each of their clients and don’t overbook their schedules. Thus, it is very important for them to have records of how much time it takes to serve a client and how much spare time is available in their calendars.

Finally having enough time for each client

Before David used Timeular, he used post-it notes to keep track of his time. “This was unreliable and difficult to tabulate.”

With Timeular he knows exactly how much time he has available for new projects. He tracks the time spent working with clients, speaking to prospective clients, administrative tasks and the time he is spending with his team.

“We limit the number of clients we take on in order to be sure that we have enough time to provide a great service to each client.”

Timeular analytics: “It’s time to hire a new person”

Tracking administrative time helped David to identify when he needed to hire an additional person.  “Keeping accurate time tracking records motivated me to hire a new person in our finance department”.

By doing so he was reducing the amount of time he spent on administration. He also hired a contractor to supplement his own efforts in marketing, therefore extracting more value from his time.

David’s tip: Track, track, track your time

Track all of your time. Using the Tracker only when you’re at your desk would leave you with inaccurate records. Try the mobile app on the go.

BIO

David White works as a managing director at Menlo Coaching. They help applicants to top MBA programs, like Harvard Business School, Wharton and London Business School, to maximize their chances of acceptance and make the most of the MBA once they enroll.

How to make better decisions by filling in your timesheet

estimated reading time: 2 min 

Leona works as Senior Architect at Farnsworth Group.

Some days Leona works on 5 to 6 different projects and juggles any general office administration tasks in between. It was difficult for Leona to know exactly how much time she spent on these tasks and to decide which ones to optimize. She knew that timesheets would help to get clarity, but she had to instantly fill them in as otherwise, she forgot how long it took her.

“It’s not always easy tracking how much time I’ve spent – that’s where Timeular comes in.”

Timeular makes it easy for her to prioritize and fill in timesheet

Leona starts her workday by selecting the task which has the highest priority due to schedules or deadlines. She chooses one for the first half of the day and maybe another one for the second half.

Tasks for other projects or administration tasks pop up and need to be taken care of instantly. Once they are done, she goes back to her prioritized task.

She tracks each task she is taking care of and then compares billable vs non-billable hours and re-evaluates her priorities based on this accurate information. To know if it is billable or non-billable time, Leona simply tracks her projects (which are paid) and general office administration. “If there is a specific billable item which needs to be tracked for a project I usually just add a note to the logged time.”

“The billable hours I am entering on my timesheet are more accurate and providing a better value to the clients for my time.”

Analytics help her keep administrative tasks under control

The analytics help her see how much time she has spent on a specific task for either just a day (for her timesheet) or to verify how much total time she has spent on a particular project. “This makes it easier to check if we have gone over our contracted work hours,” she says.

If administrative tasks are consuming more time, Leona reviews what she might have done that day or week. “I decide whether or not it is an issue before taking action. Some days or weeks are heavy with company-based meetings required training sessions which really can’t be helped.”

Leona’s tip: Put your Tracker where you can see it

If you use the Tracker, make sure to place it in a location where you can remember to flip it when you change tasks. It’s easy to forget if you don’t have it directly in your line of sight.

BIO

Leona works as Senior Architect at Farnsworth Group, a national Architectural, Engineering and Civil Surveying firm who provide design services for Commercial and Private Industries as well as Local and Federal Government sectors.